Volunteering involves much more than simply showing up. Organizations have volunteer requirements, especially for positions working with children, handicapped individuals or the elderly. Volunteer positions such as rocking babies at a hospital are competitive and in demand as they are not frequently available. A well-written letter of intent must illustrate the capabilities and skills that make you stand out from other volunteer applicants.
Address the letter to the volunteer director or coordinator. Call the organisation for accurate name and address information.
The opening paragraph should state the specific area in which you want to volunteer. Include references or connections you might have within the organisation as these might increase your chance of securing a coveted position.
List the dates and times you are available to volunteer as well as the specific start date. The volunteer coordinator can then determine future scheduling needs as well as adjust the current schedule to accommodate your hours.
Discuss any relevant skills that will enable you to be a successful volunteer. If you have experience volunteering in a special needs classroom, for instance, include this on your application to be a volunteer for the Special Olympics. State why volunteering in a particular field is of interest to you.
Add names and telephone numbers for all references provided so that the volunteer coordinator can easily verify your skills and quality of character. Your references should be told to expect a call from the coordinator.
Offer to meet with the coordinator and provide your contact information.